January 19, 2009

How Starbucks and Microsoft can Save the Economy of the Northwest

While I don't have an allegiance to Starbucks or Microsoft, I do want the Northwest's economy to do okay, both for my own eventual well-being and peace of mind, as well as those of my friends.

Here's how Starbucks and Microsoft can save the Northwest:


Quit competing with McDonald's and do what Starbucks does best: sell pretension. When people see the McDonald's ads aimed at Starbucks ("Four bucks is dumb. Now serving espresso."), they need to be reminded that, to a slave growing coffee, four bucks is not dumb.

Action Plan: 100% Fair Trade espresso drinks within one year. Bonus points for adopting standards better than Fair Trade. Boom. Everyone buying espresso drinks at McDonald's feels like a cad.


Develop software for technology needs that exist and will exist in the near future. This is way better than developing an entire operating system based on sucking resources just to justify replacing hardware that already has enough memory.

Action Plan: Cell phones are computers. Why don't they run on Windows? As much as I fear Microsoft becoming the dominant cell phone software company, it could save the Northwest. And, there's something to be said for knowing how to use a brand new cell phone without experience, just because you're familiar with the software. Hey, it's better than trying to convince people they want Vista.

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